Health Services

Warfighter Refractive Eye (LASIK Clinic)

Refractive surgery program providing PRK, LASIK, ICL, and RLE surgery currently to eligible combat arms soldiers.

Eligibility

Active-duty service members and Active Guard Reserve soldiers are the only patient categories eligible to receive refractive surgery at CRDAMC. This surgery is at NO COST for those eligible. In addition, candidates for refractive surgery must also meet the following criteria:

  • Active Duty only (AGR or Reserve must provide copy of orders)
  • Time left in service: 6 months Active Duty or greater from date of scheduled surgery **NO EXCEPTIONS**
  • Change of station: not within 6 months from date of surgery
  • Must be within driving distance from Ft. Cavazos & able to make all follow-up appointments
  • Must have commander’s authorization. 
  • No adverse actions or pending medical board.
  • No immunizations 1 month prior & up to 3 months after surgery
  • Participants are not deployable: 30 days after LASIK; up to 90 days after PRK.
  • Must have contact lenses out and wearing current prescription glasses for 30 days prior to initial exam.
  • Must have 1-year stable vision; bring civilian eye records if last exam was not through military.
  • No hormone therapy 6 months before initial exam or surgery
  • Females: no pregnancies, miscarriages, or nursing 6 months before initial exam or surgery
  • Submit completed forms found below through Genesis patient portal to the following inbox: Ft. Cavazos Ophthalmology
  • Initial appointment does not guarantee that you are a candidate for laser eye surgery.
  • At least 21 years of age
If you do not need glasses or contact lenses to drive a car, you are not a candidate for refractive eye surgery because your uncorrected vision is too good. Certain individuals are poor candidates for refractive surgery & will be advised so after the pre-operative evaluation.

Priorities

Currently excepting category 1 patients only
Category 1: Any combat arms soldier and any deploying soldier regardless of specialty.
Category 2: Non-combat arms soldiers who are not deploying are treated on a space-available basis

How To Enroll For Surgery

  • Download Lasik Surgery packet.
  • Fill out page 2 and 3, page 3 requires commander’s approval/signature, complete page 4 and return completed packet to the Ophthalmology inbox via the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal. For faster processing please sign digitally and submit.
  • Submit your completed packet via patient portal (faster processing) or hand carry the packet to the Ophthalmology clinic on the second floor of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Once packet has been received and reviewed, you will be scheduled a pre-operative evaluation.
  • Contact lens wearers must stop wearing their contact lenses at least 3 weeks prior to the pre-operative evaluation.

Surgery, Follow-Up, and Deployment

It is crucial for soldiers & authorizing commanders to be aware of the requirements surrounding refractive surgery in order to plan for training & deployment.
Before refractive eye surgery, you must have:

  • signed commander's letter permitting you to have refractive eye surgery.
  • Eyeglasses (or prescriptions) that are at least one year old.
  • Pre-operative evaluation with complete dilated eye exam by our optometrist (~2 hours).
  • Group & individual counseling with an ophthalmologist that reviews your chart. This appointment generally lasts the entire morning or afternoon. Additional or repeat tests may be performed to ensure safe surgery.
PRK or LASIK generally lasts 10-20 minutes per patient, but you may be in the clinic the entire morning or afternoon, depending on the number of soldiers being treated that day. After surgery you must make:
  • Post-op appointments one day, one week, one month, and three months after LASIK.
  • Post-op appointments 5 days, one month, and three months after PRK.
  • After LASIK you get a 6-week nondeployable profile.
  • After PRK you get a 3-month nondeployable profile.

Profiles are given to optimize healing & minimize injury to the eyes after surgery. We expect units to adhere to the profile's restrictions. For 30 days after surgery, soldiers should not live in tents, work in sunny, dusty or windy environments, do organized PT, swim, wear protective mask or face paint, fire weapons or drive military vehicles. Also, when in sunny or bright environs, soldiers should be allowed to wear sunglasses at all times for 90 days after surgery to minimize the risk of corneal scarring & hazy vision.
After PRK most soldiers require 90 days of follow-up prior to deployment, but occasionally soldiers may be released after 60 days if their treatment was low & healing looks good. The post-op appointments are necessary to ensure refractive stability & prevent deploying soldiers who are having rare complications. Again, most soldiers heal by the time the profile expires, but commanders must understand rare complications or slow healers exist; these outliers may require more frequent or longer follow-up.

Contact Us

Hours

Monday-Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed 3rd Friday

Phone

254-286-7952
254-288-8491

Location

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
590 Medical Center Road
Building 36065
2nd Floor, Clinic 3, Woodlands
Fort Cavazos, Texas 76544
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